The Tracks are in the Blender!

Hey Y’all!

Just thought I’d drop a wee post to keep you in the loop about the progress on The Haunted Album.

This is the part of the recording process that is the most challenging for me because I have so little understanding of what goes into making a killer mix. I know how to sit behind a microphone and sing and pluck some strings into a soundboard.  But, after that, it’s pretty much a smoke and mirrors show to me. 

I have been receiving some preliminary mixes for these songs and, honestly, I can’t stop listening to them. The folks at Plaiddog Recording certainly know what they are doing, and this is the part where all I need to do is breathe, be patient, and sit on my hands.

It’s not easy. I want to share these songs with you SO BADLY. But I also understand that making something with intention and finesse takes a lot of meticulous and patient steps. 

can tell you that the magic is real, I just can’t explain it. Kind of like witnessing a really good card trick or slight of hand.

That’s all for now!  Shouldn’t be much longer. 



Emily Zisman and the Adrian West Trio at the LOST CHURCH SF

I am stoked to share that I will be sharing the night on stage with the Adrian West Band Trio on Saturday, June 8th.

I’ll be starting the evening off at 8:15pm with Adrian join me on a few tunes, and his trio will round out the evening.

The Lost Church SF is a local gem with a cozy, speakeasy vibe. There are refreshments for sale and enough bathroom stalls to not panic.

Tickets are $18 HERE!

See you THERE!


The Haunted Album is on it’s way

Image by R.Black

Hey folks!

I’m sitting in the studio at Plaiddog Recording in Waltham MA, awaiting our final tracking session for the new EP, The Haunted Album.

It took many, wild unlikelihoods for this project to come into the world. I hadn’t planned on it. In fact, most of the songs were humming in the background of my laptop notes section, trying to get my attention in one way or another. They would pop up when I would open a new tab, or spin by my eyeballs as I was attempting to start another project I was unable to stop thinking about.

I wasn’t even thinking about studio time, yet. I was too busy and WAY too broke to think about recording anything at this point. Then one day I received an email from someone asking if I was a songwriter and if I had any songs ready for recording.

I had received solicitations like this before, all of them scams of some sort. But, because of my morbid sense of curiosity, I indulged in a wee back and forth. “Something something, crowdfunding campaign” (HAHAHAAA no.), “something something Boston, MA” (AbsoLOUTLY not), “something something, take your time, here’s our website, feel free to reach out to other folks who have completed the program.” ………..Ok.

I sat on it for a few days. I read reviews, perused the website, subreddits, and stalked other artists’ Instagrams. I reached out to them personally and received nothing but positive feedback. It was beginning to look legit. The only negative reviews were about delays during the pandemic. Which…..I mean, Covid delayed everyone and all things.

So I set up a meeting and confronted my anxiety over crowdfunding. I always understood the amount of work it would take to pull off a successful campaign. The ease with which the process makes itself seem is a product of the companies that invented the platforms in the first place. I am a member of an age bracket where illusion and disillusionment converge. Should I approach this with the wide-eyed hopefulness of someone who isn’t aware of the pitfalls? Should I trust that I know the racket and pass?

Luckily, I’m young enough to be hopeful.

It WAS a lot of work. BUT Plaiddog Recording has a very neat thing going on for it. It has a whole department dedicated to the automation and project management of building and executing successful crowdfunding campaigns. It’s business seems to depend on it. In an industry that keeps pivoting towards putting independent artists in charge of their own destiny and driving the production of music into home studios, Plaiddog is making it possible for those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford the experience and end product of a studio experience with a professional engineer, professional studio musicians, and a producer, that exact thing.

Like most creatives, I hate asking for money. I never got into music for this reason. It’s an ongoing, and seemingly universal quandary. But, after having given 20+ years of my energy and commitment to jobs that I thought would make it easier to chase my artistic dragons, and only being drained of my inspiration to create. I was only ever inspired by my community and how they showed up. My community continues to remain my reason. I’ve only ever known inspiration from my personal experiences and from the stories I share with individuals in my world. And when I asked to lean on them for this project, they showed up in ways I wouldn’t have known had I not put myself in the position to ask.

And now we have a new collection of songs which I am beyond excited to present back to my community as the result of our collective efforts.

I give my unending gratitude to everyone who donated or just commented with their enthusiasm for the project, I now have a second EP in as many years to share with you all. These songs that have been hovering in the periphery now have a home.

I can’t wait to share the recordings with you. They are just as much yours as they are mine.

<3 EmZis


My new single Nebraska is available to listen to HERE

Just a wee update on some new developments on the EmZis music front. In a couple of months, I’ll be flying to Boston to record a brand new EP! This is all possible because you all made it possible.

To all of you who donated to the campaign, (you know who you are) you are a part of what keeps my little heart all a-flutter.

If you had no idea there WAS a campaign, feel free to check it out here. Donations are closed BUT, you can follow me on Instagram for updates, info, general revelry, etc. and to know when you can grab a copy of the EP fer yerself.

I’m so grateful to Plaid Dog Recording for contacting me and for the opportunity to engage with my community in this way. Running a crowdfunding campaign is a LOT of work, which is why I never attempted to launch one, myself. (Also, I loathe asking for money, but that’s a sob story for my therapist). But they have a whole system dialed in and it was sooooo worth it.

I’ve been working with producer and engineer Carter Sanders who is doing some amazing things for so many musicians, yours truly included. Not only does he have an ear for what makes a good arrangement, but he is a talented musician in his own right and creates the right amount of tension to come to the most effective musical conclusions.

All this to say, the money is there, the studio is booked, and the team is TALENTED. I cannot WAIT to start this process.

Also, we are bringing along two donors who have contributed at the executive producer status (WAT!?) and will be joining us in the studio to add their two cents and to keep me humble and aiming for what y’all want to hear. So, if you like the whole project in the end, you also have these people to thank! I won’t name them here unless they tell me to 😉

Once more: THANK YOU for being my community, for keeping me afloat on this tiny boat, and I can’t wait to share these new songs with you.

<3 EmZis

The Americano Family Ruckus Comes to Pleasanton!

The Americanos bring the Family Ruckus to Pleasanton!

Whatcha doing tomorrow night?

Sat, Jan 13th at 8pm, the Americanos bring our famous Ruckus to the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton!

I hear they have a brand new dance floor so don’t forget your dancing shoes!

Click here for tickets and please tell everyone you know!!

We will be pulling out all the stops, so don’t miss this event.

See you in Pleasanton!

The Ruckus is Back in SF!!

Let me just….jog your memory for a minute….

This was a big thing. For a number of years….

It was full of the most expressive elements of our wild nature

It was glorious…


We, along with much of our musical and live-music-enthusiast community, were reeling after the unexpected and confusing closure of our beloved Club Deluxe on Haight and Ashbury. It was a musical haven and de facto community center for wayward, local, live music professionals who didn’t have the type of following to fill the Independent or the Fillmore on a regular basis, but had a cult/local pull all their own.

There was the pandemic for sure. But that wasn’t the nail in the coffin. That wasn’t even the felled tree that built the thing. It was greed. The same greed that plagues this city to this day.

But we won’t unpack that here.

I want to talk about the possibility of the Ruckus having a new home in San Francisco. It was not an easy feat to find a place with the same vibe as Deluxe. It was so unique and of another time. And above all, it VALUED its local musicians.

BUT, we may have found something comparable. Something in a neighborhood that, during the pandemic, found a way to keep the community engaged and flourishing despite the constrictions of masks and distance. It did so with compassion, relative safety (individual autonomy notwithstanding), and hope.

On November 3rd, the Ruckus will return in full force at Savoy Tivoli in North Beach from 8:30pm-11:30pm.

Joining us as our first guest dancer in the new space is none other than the fabulous Zoe Jakes of Beats Antique.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to be there as the Ruckus revives itself. You don’t want to miss Zoe, the band, the dancing, the vibes….

Mark your calendars and help us ring in a new era of the Ruckus.

Savoy Tivol, November 3rd, 8:30pm-11:30pm

See you there!

<3 EmZis

New Mythologies to Stream on Bay Beats!!

Exciting News!! New Mythologies has been accepted for streaming at the San Francisco Public Library’s new program: BayBeats!

San Francisco Public Library has the beat of the Bay…Bay Beats! The Library’s new free music streaming platform, featuring more than 100 Bay Area musicians and bands, goes live on October 28. After receiving a hugely enthusiastic response to the submission round, SFPL jurors selected over 100 bands to showcase. Discover your favorite new music in rock, folk, rap, pop, jazz and other genres. To celebrate the launch, SFPL is hosting a party on Oct. 28 featuring performances by 6 of the musicians featured on Bay Beats! All are invited to join in on the celebrations. Visit to learn more!


Get ready to groove at the #BayBeats Launch Party! Join @SFPublicLibrary at Fulton Plaza outside the Main Library on 10/28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to celebrate! Enjoy live performances by 6 of the incredible musicians featured on our new free streaming platform!

Thanks for all of your support!

<3 EmZis


I am SO excited to be joining the artist collective Raining Chainsaws as their musical director for Rare Birds appearing at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass this year.

Raining Chainsaws has been making community and collaborative performance/experiential art in San Francisco for over a decade.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is a San Francisco institution and, thanks to the Hellman family, the tradition carries on with free shows by the likes of Emmylou Harris, Kurt Vile, Valerie June, Rufus Wainwright, The Lone Bellow, Irma Thomas… you get the gist. It’s a pretty big deal.

This year, Raining Chainsaws has been invited to be a part of a new stage at Hardly Strictly and they are FLYING with the idea. I highly encourage you to plan a morning with us in Golden Gate Park on Sunday, October 1st.

I recommend grabbing a comfy spot on the lawn around 11:30am for the 11:40am performance.

If you feel the nudge to donne some feathers or a beak, you would be among friends.

Check out the Raining Chainsaws website to see what you might be in for!



Come join the Americanos and together we will make our signature epic Ruckus at San Jose’s Tabard Theater on Friday Aug 4th with Music, Dance, Friends, Drinks, a Dance Party, Laughs, and tons of Crazy Fun!

We have a great show planned for you with lots of your favorite Americano songs to sing along with and dance to. We will have special guest bellydancer, the dynamic Ms Gina Bruno and guest bassist and jazz great Essiet Essiet!

This all ages show is from 8pm to 10pm and tickets are $10. You can purchase tickets at the door or in advance here!

Tell your friends, bring your dancing shoes, and join us Friday August 4th for an off the hook good time in San Jose and we will See You There!!!

Saturday Show with Press Record Songwriting Society!

The Press Record Songwriting Society (PRSS) is a revolving group of talented Bay Area songwriters, co-founded by Alexis Harte and Tamsen Fynn, who meet semi-monthly to critique and evaluate each other’s works in progress. The overarching goal of the group is to encourage its members — through an insightful, honest, constructive critique process — to develop and complete songs, and “press record.”  

6 of the PRSS members will be showcasing some of the songs we have been workshopping in an “In -the-round” showcase.

Our show is on Saturday, July 29th. The Strings address is 6320 San Pablo Ave. (near Alcatraz Ave.) in Oakland. 

Doors open at 7:30 and the show starts at 8.  There is a $20 donation at the door.  *** Strings is an all-cash venue.

Our featured song that went through the PRSS process was Alexis Harte’s Thirsty, the video for which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in 2021 and won awards at festivals around the world.

Also, Steve Gallup just wrote and released a video with his son, so kind of a cool family project that came out well.

Alexis Harte

Alexis Harte, co-founder of PRSS, is an Annie and Peabody Awards-winning singer-songwriter and composer, and a veteran of the Strings stage.

Tamsen Fynn

Tamsen Fynn, co-founder of PRSS, has been a local singer/songwriter and educator for more than 20 years, and has taught for The Freight & Salvage for the past 10 years.

Steve Gallup

Steve Gallup, Bay Area Curator for the international Acoustic Guitar Project, and guitarist and songwriter, wrote a song every week in 2022 to see what would come of it.

Edie Ohara

Edie O’Hara writes songs that go straight to the heart, revealing the depth of her spirit and our shared human condition; she’ll always surprise you with an unexpected twist.

Emily Zisman

Lyrical philosopher and storyteller, San Francisco songwriter Emily uses unabashed honesty and humor to punctuate the complexity of the entire escapade.

Erik Yates

Erik Yates, a 20-veteran of the Bay Area acoustic scene, performs roots music and original songs with the help of his many banjos and guitars.